Just before the Bank Holiday weekend, Relisys unveiled a batch of new products in the wilds of Coventry, and we were there to see it.
When I was first told that I was “being sent to Coventry”, I did at first wonder what I had done wrong. As it turned out I wasn’t being ostracised by my colleagues, – it was just the location of major launch event by display company Relisys.
Relisys is part of the Teco group, one of Taiwan’s largest conglomerates. Teco has its UK offices based in Manchester rather than London, which is why it chose the relatively nearby Mariott Arden Hotel in Coventry for its launch.
Relisys gathered together a large number of its industry partners to show off a whole host of new products, including a few surprises. It also invited journalists from a select few titles and TrustedReviews was the only online publication to be invited.
Before showing off its new products, we were given a presentation that revealed some interesting facts about the industry and made some predictions for the future.
Relisys is one of many companies that hopes to move from being seen purely as an IT brand to become a consumer electronics brand. The reason for this desire is quite is simple – home entertainment is a huge business worldwide, and is one where the channel enjoys margins of around 30 per cent, compared to the one to three per cent common in the IT industry. However, as convergence of IT and consumer electronics is happening, albeit in fits and starts, the IT companies will be in a great position to take advantage of their expertise and move into this market.
We were also told how LCD technology is growing apace with worldwide investment outstripping that or DRAM (memory) by two to one. This is because all the major players are building large factories in the race to establish the next generation of silicon wafer production. Sony and Samsung are currently ahead of pack with their joint effort and have created a seventh generation facility. Sharp is next with a sixth generation factory. Each generation is differentiated by how large the substrates of glass are. The more glass the more panels can be cut from a single piece. This is a similar situation to microprocessors with larger wafers delivering higher yields and lowering costs.
As for future predictions the likelihood is that we will see widescreen displays for the desktop becoming more common during 2005, as the larger latest generation factories come online and yields start to go up.
LCDs will also improve in quality in order to compete with traditional TV manufacturers – in particular offering improved colour performance with an enhanced gamut of colours providing a richer picture.
As processes become more efficient we will also see more super-high resolution displays such as the nine megapixel Viewsonic.
These developments will be bolstered by Microsoft’s next operating system after Windows XP, codenamed Longhorn, which will have built in support for high quality, high resolution, widescreen displays.
Projection technology is also set to improve. Sony is very interested in research by the University of Weimar, which enables images to be displayed at high quality on almost any surface such as a pair of curtains and still obtain fantastic results.
But casting our gaze away from the future and back to the present we should now take a look at all the new products Relisys was displaying to the gathered industry partners and journalists.